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Looking Behind the Curtain: Importance of Employee Screening in the 21st century

It is often quite embarrassing to have to explain to a prospective employee that he or she will have to undergo a background check before signing a contract. There is no way around this as a recruiting manager needs to ask for the applicant’s written consent before ordering a national police check. Some job applicants resent the idea of having to prove they don’t have a criminal record as it appears the HR manager is somehow doubting their honesty. Others, however, resent the idea as a background check might bring to light the skeletons in their closets. This is precisely why a good recruiting agent should have no qualms about ordering a thorough background screening. Why are background checks even more important in the 21st century than, say, a few decades ago?

Greater population mobility

Back in the 20th century, people tended to live most of their lives in the city or state where they were born. When an individual applied for a job at a local company, in his hometown, there were fewer chances he would have tried to hide something in his past. When you’ve lived in an area for most of your life, especially in a smaller city, there are many people who know you and lying on your job application would have been risky.

Today, people have no problem applying for a job in another part of the country. The Internet makes it easier to find a job elsewhere. You can find vacancies on job boards or contact a business in another city through social media. And, unfortunately, people with an unsavoury past might take a chance on losing their trace and starting over somewhere else.

Fortunately, the Internet offers HR agents the best tools to do a background screening on potential employees. Any business can use an online agency that offers national police checks in record times, whether they are in need of a state based check like a victoria police check for the state of Victoria (VIC) in Australia, or a national level police check that covers the entire country. All that an HR agent has to do is fill in the information, upload ID for the applicant and in just a couple of days, the company receives via email a complete police check on the job applicant.

Modern online background check services in Australia are fully accredited with the federal government and have access to criminal history databases for all Australian states and territories. If the individual under scrutiny has a record anywhere it will show up on the national police check australia. This makes employee screening efficient and timely. Decision makers are able to make an informed decision before placing persons in a position of trust.

Rising online fraud and identity theft

Modern technology offers many opportunities for those who might want to lie about their credentials or apply for a job with forged documents. Back in the 20th century, before the Internet was invented, it was hard to find a fake diploma or buy one from a fraudulent online so-called university. Nowadays, it’s easy as pie if you put your mind to it. Or, you could lie about past employment with a reputable company in another part of the country, on the assumption that it’s so far away and who’s going to bother to check. In recent years, in Australia, there have been such cases, even high-profile ones, where shady individuals tried to get hired (and even succeeded) using a fake resume.

It is a risk no recruiting agency or manager wants to take and why should they since pre-employment screening is so easy? 

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